My Cross Country Tour Report - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 85
Default My Cross Country Tour Report

The bike is a 2013 XCT. I bought it in May and started the trip with about 1600 miles on the bike.

I am back from what amounted to about a 4000 mile round trip. I covered 9 states, elevations from sea level all the way up to 11,300 feet, from 42 degrees up to 102 and bone dry to driving rain. I'll take a little time to tell you about what worked and what didn't.

About 2 hours out of the gate I hit a huge thunderstorm. By my best estimate I was in it for about 100 miles. Rain volume ranged from a heavy downpour to moderate rain. I noticed at one point during the heaviest of the rain my radio would cut out and the mode display would read "NAV" versus "FM." I don't have a nav system on the bike. After being in the rain for about 50 miles, my cruise control died. The power light was on, but it would not set.

About an hour after things dried out, cruise started working fine again. I was near a Victory dealer in Athens AL so I thought I'd stop in to chat to see if they were aware of any known issues and quick fixes. The owner and staff at Champion Power Sports could not have been any better. They treated me like royalty and made every reasonable effort to troubleshoot. They didn't find anything wrong. They reckoned, as I did, that water made it somewhere it shouldn't have and created a problem.

Take a look at the accessories in the pic.

The Ram cup holder was fantastic. In the past I have bought new Tom Tom and Garmin motorcycle specific GPS units that didn't last more than two years. At $600 a pop that is frustrating. This time I used a $60 Garmin auto GPS and an Akron GPS handlebar mount. It's a weather resistant case, not waterproof, but it did fantastic through the heavy rain. Just a little moisture on the inside. We'll see how it does over the long haul, but for now I think it's a winner.

I arrived at my destination after my first day of travel with about 500 miles on the clock. I felt surprisingly fresh. More so than I have with any other bike after 500 miles. The seat is the best factory seat I have ever traveled on. It wasn't great, but it was sufficient. A little bit of a scallop shape would likely work wonders.

Going back to the rain. The wind and weather protection on the bike are top rate. I wore a Bell Mag 9 3/4 helmet and the only complaint I had was that water came in under the face shield. It was my first trip with the helmet and I LOVE it. It's the most comfortable helmet I have ever owned. My Nelson Rigg rain suit also earns top rating for performance. It kept me perfectly dry. It is durable, but relatively light with a fairly small pack size.

On day 2 I rode just under 500 miles. I had no issues at all. I arrived fresh. On day 3 I again traveled just under 500 miles. This time in a light rain almost all day. I had no issues. My bud punctured his tire. I used my frame mount bicycle pump and my monkey shit plug kit to get him going again. The bike pump did its job, but it was a workout. I bought a small compressor that day, though if I was limited on space I'd be happy with the hand pump.

The next morning my bud wanted to replace his tire. In Woodward OK there were 2 shops. One was a Kawasaki dealership. They had a tire that would fit for $290.00!!! On top of that they wouldn't make him a priority. The only other shop was a custom Harley building shop. These folks don't even do normal work on bikes, but they rolled my bud to the head of the line and spooned on a new tire. They discovered that he had bent his rim when he hit a hole when his tire was low. They happened to have a brand new ($600 if you by it from Harley) take off rim for exactly like his and they GAVE it to him. These guys have won some of the televised build offs. They are very good people and their bikes are pure porn!!!

We parted ways at that point. I continued my ride into NM and CO. I did another 500 mile day with no issues despite a short period of heavy rain. I did notice on a smooth road that my tires were making a bit of an unusual sound on the road. A sound like a more aggressive tread pattern might make. I again arrived fresh and feeling m bike was serving me rather well. My fuel economy ranged from the mid to high 30s over the first 4 days.

On my 5th day I rode my final 100 miles into Crested Butte. I noticed as I was powering up gradual inclines in top gear that the bike made a clicking sound much like valve noise. It was more pronounced as I hit the steep incline going up to Mt Crested Butte.

The next morning when I started the bike and began easing down the mountain, the click had morphed into a bit of a squeal or squeak along with the click. It was frightening. After the bike warmed the noise went away but for the remainder of the trip and even now back home if you do a 5th gear or top gear roll on between 2300-2700 RPMs you'll get that clicking, valve train kind of noise.

I kept the bike parked for the rest of the day. The following day I finally had time to look things over closely. At 3500 miles the front tire had an unusual wear pattern. A bit of cupping if you will. Mainly on the left side. When I started the bike I put my ear close to the various parts of the engine. There is a high frequency noise and a very light tick coming from underneath the clutch cover. There are a few places where the clutch cover gasket is weeping. no drips, no leaks, just a slight discoloration and weeping onto the black part of the engine.

One day while I was in Crested Butte Laurie and I headed over Monarch Pass with some friends. This 80 year old couple was a delight. They each rode a Yamaha 650 cruiser and Laurie rode pillion with me. I hardly even knew she was there. The Victory pulls like a freakin' train! I pushed it through a few of the tighter turns and the bike handles incredibly well. I have no idea what it would take to drag parts on this bike. I do know I will never find out. Handling and clearance are class leading. I managed about 44 MPG (actual) on the tank of gas I used that day. My best by far.

We stopped at the Monarch Pass crest at 11,300 feet to take photos. When I started the bike it died immediately. I had to stay on the gas a little to keep it going when I restarted it. It behaved like a carbed bike might at elevation. We dropped down into Salda for lunch. While we were eating a heavy rain and hailstorm passed over. When I fired the bike up and started going again, I got that same squeal/squeak I got the first morning I rode down Mt Crested Butte. It went away after about 20 minutes. We again stopped at the crest, and again my bike died and needed some throttle to stay going. When we dropped down into Gunnison, it was idling high. It typically idles at about 900-1K . It was idling at 1300. This was the third or fourth time I had noticed this on the trip. All at elevations of over 7K.

I spent about another uneventful (from a motorcycling standpoint) week in Crested Butte before returning home.

The day I left Crested Butte, I rode 700+ miles. I have never done that before. I wore padded bike shorts under my jeans. That helped! On that day I saw temps as low as 42 and as high as 101. The heated grips and seat were amazing. During the heat of the day I stayed fairly comfortable. The engine heat was of no consequence! By the end of the day I was tired, but I must say, I was looking for a distance touring bike that could deliver long haul comfort, and I found it in the Cross Country Tour. I could have never done 700 mile days on any other bike I have ridden. I really appreciated the storage space on the bike. It is second to none in the industry. I want to mention that I encountered heavy crosswinds around mid day on the plains of west TX. The bike managed it very well. It held its line very well and buffeting was kept to a minimum. When I began my southerly trek against the wind, fuel economy went right to hell. On one tank I managed but 31MPG.

On the last day of my trip, I decided to see just how far I could go on a tank of gas. When my gauge read 1/4 tank, I made it 30 miles before the low fuel light came on. The gauge plummeted from 1/8 to zero and low fuel light in the blink of an eye. When I filled up I had 202 miles on the trip odo and it took 5.1 gallons to get the level to the point where I normally take it. The fuel gauge and the fuel mileage computer inaccuracy are annoying and unacceptable for a luxury touring bike.

On balance the bike did what I bought it to do and it delivered! It didn't do it without issues though.

The radio and cruise went out for a period of time.
The valve rattling sound continues under load.
The squeal I got on 2 different days.
The odd noise under the clutch cover.
The oil weeping from the clutch cover gasket.
The unusual wear on my front tire.
The engine dying at 11,300 feet.
The intermittent high idle.
The fuel gauge and fuel mileage computer.

That's it. That's my report!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Side of a mountain in New Hampshire
Posts: 1,208

And a fine report it is.

Thanks for some reasonable, albeit biased by ownership, info.

Cross Country Tour.

We can't help it
We just keep moving
It's been that way since long ago
Since the stone age chasing the great herds
We mostly go where we have to go

That was written by James McMurtry
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 08:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Chandler
Posts: 91

I can share some of this with you directly from not only the same near area but only a week ago. Hell, we probably passed each other!

The radio and cruise went out for a period of time.
The valve rattling sound continues under load.
The squeal I got on 2 different days.
The odd noise under the clutch cover.
The oil weeping from the clutch cover gasket.
The unusual wear on my front tire.
The engine dying at 11,300 feet.
The intermittent high idle.
The fuel gauge and fuel mileage computer.

A bit of water got into my electrics also and the sound system was on the fritz until it dried out as you say.

Confirmed today that the drive belt is commonly known to chirp or squeal some. A "customer" serviced item not covered under any of the warranty of course.

I had the weeping of the left side cover and the dealer replaced both the cover gasket as well as an internal seal before I left.

High idle. Coming off Wolf Creek pass we found it would hang up at about 16-1700rpm. Same thing up on Cumbres. The key is altitude. Not cruise or how you manually throttle. Cycle the key and the problem is immediately gone. That's a computer issue. I'm told there is a MAP sensor on the bike but wonder about that. The problem is that the bike wants more air to keep the fuel mixture correct. Oddly it should not need it directly from the throttle but rather an idle air bypass or simply back off the fuel to keep the proper ratio.

The trip computer is a good guideline but I wouldn't try to run it to empty either!

*You can find my 3300mi trip, much of it in CO, NM a few posts below. Ride on!

The Blue Tuna
2013 XCT
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 85

Thanks for sharing that Todd. I'll take a look at your report.
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